Last before the first. Doing the last surf check coming in from the Midwest. Next time it will be the first since moving back. Looking for that first opportunity of the new season. Seems like there has been no real surf the last few times I've stood on the beach. Flat or blown with no clean up in between. Just finished the first full day of our own version of "Beach Front Bargain Hunt." Tired. Maybe slightly exhausted. Tight time frame adds to the feeling of being pressed. So, to cross the dunes and take in the view of a few waist to stomach leftist rollers helped to envision the future of what is to come. Released a breath. Let go of the tension. At least in the moment. Kinda helped that next steps involved getting some seafood amid a formidable Eastern Sho' sunset.
This set came rollin' in as another two brew review. Started off with a pale that bursts with citrus and tropical punch. New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale. May be enough to wake the dead. Big explosion that quickly mellows in the aroma and taste. Only 35 IBUs but the hop flavor feels more so. Finished off lighter. Refreshed. Up front toasty, cracker-like malt. Not too dry. Poured a bright gold with a finger and a half white head. Thin lacing. Light bodied at 5.5% ABV. Rated at a B+.
Michigan's Bells Brewery puts out a barley wine style, Third Coast Old Ale, that almost demands a cigar (the other half of my sixer is aging for that). Named for the Michigan surf breaks. Very dark, cloudy, viscous, amber-brown pour. Tan two finger head with sticky lacing... vs. lacing that slides and dissipates. Aromas of vanilla, raisins, and heavy molasses. Tastes a bit boozy as it is a heavy at 10.2% ABV. No worries here. Slight bitterness that goes well with the sweet richness of caramel and anise. IBUs in the lower 50's. Speaking of, the perfect throwback after surfing the spring 50's water temps off the OC. Intensity that mellows. Really liked this bad ass. Rated an A.